Emirates FA Cup
Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, England
55′ Hazard (P)
Chelsea progressed into the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup thanks to a five-one victory over Championship side MK Dons. An excellent first-half hat-trick from Oscar gave the Blues a three-one lead at the break after Darren Potter had leveled the scores earlier in the game. However, goals from Eden Hazard, who ended his long wait for a Chelsea goal, and youngster Bertrand Traoré in the second half, sent the Blues into the fifth round, surpassing last season’s run, where they were knocked out at this same stage last year against Bradford City.
The visiting Premier League champions started well as expected and dominated possession early on and should have taken the lead within the first couple of minutes. Eden Hazard fed Oscar who squared for Diego Costa, who had the goal at his mercy, but somehow David Martin in the home goal, kept his effort out.
Three minutes later, Hazard found Oscar again, but the Brazilian lost his footing as he was about to shoot, and his effort was dragged wide.
In the 11th minute, the visitors came close when Branislav Ivanović forced Martin into another good save, following a nicely-worked short corner.
Two minutes later, the visitors came close to taking the lead when Oscar received the ball from Hazard, but his first-time strike was just wide of the post.
In the 15th minute, Kyle McFadzean gifted possession to the Blues’ Costa, who unselfishly squared for Oscar, who slid home: past the covering Joe Walsh on the line.
Two minutes later, Hazard fed Ruben Loftus-Cheek, but despite the pass being played slightly behind the youngster, the England Under-21 international managed to get his shot away, but Martin claimed with ease.
A minute later, Jordan Spence made a fantastic run before pulling the ball back to Samir Carruthers, but his effort was straightforward for Thibaut Courtois.
In the 21st minute, the Championship side were level. A deflected strike from Darren Potter off Nemanja Matić, looped over Courtois into the top corner, to bring the home side level against the run of play.
Three minutes later, Hazard was played through by Cesc Fàbregas, but with just the keeper to beat, Martin pulled off a fantastic save to first, tip the Belgian’s effort onto the post, and then claim the loose ball.
A minute later, Baba Rahman played in a great low cross into the path of Oscar, but Costa slid in to take the ball off his teammate’s toes, sending it wide.
In the 32nd minute, the visitors were back in front. Loftus-Cheek surged forward before finding Oscar, who didn’t need to take a touch as he fired across Martin to put the Premier League side back in front.
In the 36th minute, some fantastic link-up play from Rahman and Hazard enabled Oscar to let fly from range, but Martin was equal to it.
Four minutes later, the home side came close. Jake Forster-Caskey surged forward before letting fly from outside the box, but his effort was just too high.
In the 42nd minute, Loftus-Cheek found Oscar again, on his hat-trick, but his scuffed effort was just dragged wide of the post, with Martin rooted to the spot.
Two minutes later, the Brazilian managed to achieve his hat-trick feat. He did well to cut inside before letting fly from outside the edge of the box, with his strike curling into the top-corner. It was his first hat-trick in English football.
There was some late pressure from the visitors, albeit to no avail, as the referee blew his whistle to bring the first 45 minutes to an end. The scoreline flattered the home side, who could have been further behind had it not been for Martin pulling off some fine saves.
The home side briefly started the second period much brighter than they began the first, but the visitors always looked more of a threat on the break.
In the 53rd minute, the visitors were awarded a penalty when goalscorer Potter brought Hazard down. The resulting spot-kick was converted Hazard, who sent Martin the wrong way, ending his competitive goal-scoring drought stretching all the way back to May 3rd, against Crystal Palace. However, he had scored a wonderful individual goal in the pre-season against Barcelona.
In the 56th minute, the home visitors made their first change of the game bringing on youngster Bertrand Traoré for Costa.
In the 60th minute, Rob Hall cut inside before firing off-target via a deflection. The resulting corner came to nothing.
Two minutes later, the visitors made it five. A great ball from Fàbregas sent Hazard clear, the Belgian found substitute Traoré, who curled home first-time to extend their lead. It was his first goal for the Blues.
A minute later, the visitors made a double substitution with hat-trick goalscorer Oscar departing for Willian, and goalscorer Hazard making way for Pedro.
In the 66th minute, the home side made their first change with Jonny Williams coming on for Josh Murphy.
Six minutes later, Pedro found Fàbregas, whose shot was easily gathered by Martin at his near post.
In the 75th minute, the home side made their second change of the game with Dean Bowditch departing for Nicky Maynard.
In the 77th minute, the visitors came close when Rahman found Traoré, but the substitute’s effort was just wide of the post.
Three minutes later, the visitors came close from a Willian freekick, but his effort was straightforward for Martin.
A minute later, the home side came close when Forster-Caskey cut inside before firing over.
Soon after, the home side made their third and final change of the game, with Carruthers departing for Daniel Powell.
Two minutes into the substitute’s introduction, he almost pulled one back but Courtois did well to tip his effort away.
Despite some late Blues pressure, the visitors couldn’t add to the scoreline as the referee blew his whistle to bring the game to an end.
The result for the home side meant that they bowed out. The result for the visitors meant that they progressed into the fifth round where they will play Manchester City at home.